Over the past few months, I have used my blog to educate voters with a series of profiles of candidates for elections in Georgia. In several cases, I contacted the campaigns through telephone calls or email to clarify positions on issues or with question about the candidate’s background. After waiting for several weeks, I finally received a response from Roy Barnes, the Democratic candidate for Georgia Governor.
In my original profile of Barnes, I was unable to conclusively determine his positions on abortion, gun control, or to ascertain how he intended to pay for his spending programs. The response that I received dealt with these issues.
First, with respect to abortion and life issues, Barnes believes that abortion should be “safe, legal, — and most importantly rare.” He believes that giving women access to family planning services and providing responsible sex education in schools can help to achieve this goal.
My personal opinion is that Barnes is chasing an oxymoron. If abortion is safe and legal, it will never be rare. In order to reduce abortions, I believe that it should be heavily regulated and permitted only in cases of rape, incest, and when the mother’s life is at stake. This seems to be the direction in which public opinion is moving as well.
Barnes is also in favor of embryonic stem cell research, which many believe will lead to the harvesting of human embryos. This would be tragic because it is now possible to grow stem cells without destroying babies. Additionally, embryonic stem cells are not used in a single treatment where adult stem cells have at least 73 known uses in preparing treatments. Embryonic stem cell research should not be used as an excuse to continue killing babies.
Second, Barnes responded to my question about gun control. He states that he is against “excessive gun control” and that he has been endorsed by the NRA “in every election.” While that may have been true previously, this year the NRA declined to provide an endorsement for Georgia’s gubernatorial election because both candidates have “A” ratings. While this is heartening to me, I do wonder what would not be “excessive” in Barnes’ mind.
Finally, I had asked how Barnes would pay for his spending. Barnes’ economic plan includes some business tax cuts as well as massive spending projects on state infrastructure and light rail. I speculated that the money for these plans had to come from either deficit spending or tax increases.
In his response, Barnes stated that he planned to pay for his projects by repealing “tax exemptions that apply only to special interest [sic] and not all Georgians.” In other words, he does plan on increasing taxes in some form or fashion.
After two years of taxing and spending our way to prosperity under the national Democrats, most voters will recognize that this sort of economic plan does not work. The federal government and states, such as Michigan and California, that have gone down this road are all deeply in debt and have some of the highest rates of unemployment in the country.
It would be much better for Georgia to follow the model used by Presidents Harding, Coolidge, Kennedy, and Reagan in which taxes are cut and government spending is slashed in order to ease the burden on citizens and businesses and give them an opportunity to produce.